The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Walther von der Vogelweide

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WALTHER VON DER VOGELWEIDE, väl'tĕr fōn dĕr fō'gĕl-vi-dĕ, German lyric poet of the class of Minnesingers: b. about 1160; d. about 1227. He was descended from a noble but not wealthy family, whose castle, Vogelweide, is supposed to have been situated in Tyrol. Wallher resided at the court of Frederick, the eldest son of Leopold VI, duke of Austria and on Frederick's death in 1198 left the court of Vienna and entered on a series of wanderings. He remained longest at the splendid court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, who had always around him a circle of poets and instituted that celebrated poetic contest, the war of the Warburg (1207), in which Walther took part. Walther shows himself, in his political poems, a warm partisan of the imperial interests against the Papacy. The Emperor Frederick II was also a patron, and bestowed on him a small fief. His poems, all of which are lyric, have been published by Lachmann (1827). Consult Milmanns, ‘Leben und Dichten Walthers von der Vogelweide’ (1882); Schönbach, ‘Walther von der Vogelweide, ein Dichterleben’ (1895).